Ayla Chirathivat-Geralds, who in Year 4 attained the highest result in the state for Grade 1 Speech and Drama in 2017, was recently invited to Parliament House to perform at the Barbara Sisley Awards. Here is her account of the event.
It was a dark and cloudy night. There was an icy chill in the air as I slowly emerged from the car, then I saw it. There it was, big, tall and standing proud like a monarch; the Brisbane Parliament House. For a second, I felt overwhelmed to perform in such a grand and important building, but with my family at my side, I knew this was going to be a night to remember…
Excitedly, I walked through the immense glass sliding doors of Parliament House. I was so honoured and grateful to be given such an opportunity and I knew all of my hard work had paid off. After passing security, we walked up the grand staircase and halfway up, we stopped to take a photo in front the large governmental crest. We continued into the waiting room outside the Premiers' Hall. The room was buzzing with excitement, all of the guests and performers were chatting anxiously while huddled in the small area. As I looked around the busy, almost crowded room, I saw dozens of painted portraits of many dignitaries neatly displayed on the walls. Suddenly, all of the performers were called inside the hall, leaving our families outside.
I was a bit nervous as we took our seats, I was seventh in line to perform. As I was sitting there, a memory came to my mind, from when I was in Year 2. I was outside the Senior Studies block, waiting to perform at my first Somerset Festival for Young Performers in speech and drama. My parents were trying their best to comfort me as I was in tears. I was incredibly nervous, I froze and couldn’t go in, but soon I overcame my fear, and since then I have improved greatly.
Back in the Premiers' Hall, I felt much calmer. Many great performers (also receiving top scores in Queensland for their exams) got up on stage, and soon, as I watched with wide eyes it was my turn. I felt the adrenaline rush through my body, this was my moment, my chance to entertain the audience, but mostly, to prove to myself, I had definitely conquered my stage fright. It finished as quickly as it started. I was beaming from ear to ear, receiving my book award from the special guest, actor Matthew Backer and many smiles from the audience. My parents were taking photos and suddenly I was back in my seat. I was truly inspired watching the rest of the performances and feeling really proud of myself. It was an incredible but long night, and I was happy to be in my warm bed having great dreams about my Parliament adventures.
I would like to thank my family, Mrs Jane Irvine; my Speech and Drama teacher and my College for helping me on this journey.
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